Bare Encounters

Often comical, sometimes frustrating, the daily encounters that comprise the life of a barefooter are always entertaining …

October 8, 2014
Cyclist, as I pass him: “Have a good podiatrist?”
Dude, did you fail to notice that my bare feet are faster than your fancy machine?

July 23, 2014
As I run past a little boy with his mom … “She’s not wearing any clothes – I mean shoes – Mommy!”

March 17, 2014
I walk past a girl, her cut up ankles wobbling uncomfortably in stilettos. A guy following behind calls out:
“You’ve got the right idea. Those shoes look so uncomfortable!”
Remind me again why women torture themselves so?

July 21, 2013
Stranger on the street: “Barefoot. You’re a hippy.”
Thanks for the insight. The search for my personal identity can finally come to an end.

July 20, 2013
Random guy, while waiting at a crosswalk: “Aren’t you concerned about ticks and fleas? You know, my cat just had a bad flea infestation.”
Excellent logic. In the mind of a flea, a bare foot is clearly no different from a warm, fuzzy cat.

April 1, 2013
Old man: “Good for you!”
Me: “I’m sorry?”
“You’re barefoot.” Useful reminder, in case I forgot.
“Yes …”
“Have you read that book about the Indians in Mexico that run barefoot?” Here we go again.
“Born to Run? Yes, good book.”
“OF COURSE Born to Run. I was testing you.”
Immediately followed by an oral exam on every character in the book. 

March 5, 2013
Receptionist: “You run barefoot? Oh, you mean in those toe shoes.”
Me: “No, I mean barefoot.”
Her: pause … “Oh, you mean when you’re on the beach.”
Me: “No, I mean wherever. Concrete, asphalt …”
Awkward silence.

January 2013
As I run by, a woman in vicious high-heels yells out: “Running barefoot? You’ll hurt your poor back!”
I wonder why she associates footwear with back pain?

November 24, 2012
While standing in a checkout line today, the man behind me spontaneously yells out: “Barefoot!! Barefoot!! Barefoot!!”. I glance curiously back as he awkwardly murmurs “just kidding” … And I’m the odd one?

October 2012
Random passer-by: “You won’t wear shoes but you have to paint your toenails?”

March 2012
Taxi driver in Las Vegas: “You should really put some shoes on. You’re definitely going to contract Hepatitis.”

Sometime in 2011
Plumber in the elevator: “I’d put some shoes on. There’s shit everywhere.”

Everywhere, all the time, from everyone:
“You’re going to cut yourself on broken glass and needles!” Still waiting …

“Aren’t your feet freezing?” I live in San Diego.

“Do you want my shoes?” ha. ha.

3 thoughts on “Bare Encounters

  1. Tray says:

    Love it, some bloke was actually gaping at me today.

  2. Totally love all this and can relate. I’m a barefoot runner in London. I once got stopped and questioned by a policeman for 5 minutes for running barefoot in my local, big, wild park (Richmond Park) – like I’d just escaped from a mental hospital or something :). Viva la Revolucion!

  3. Heatfooter says:

    I get my share of comments too.

    Family members: 1. When it’s 40 degrees cold or over 90 degrees hot, “you should put some shoes on” and when I reply “thanks for your concern but I’ll be alright” they annoyingly respond with “yes, I’m concerned”. 2. If I have any blisters on my soles from walking on abrasive sidewalk for too long/too fast or walking a long enough distance on asphalt hot enough to blister feet–whispering to each other (but I can hear it) that I have blisters.

    Fontana: Bel-air swap meet in bare feet–summer air temperatures so hot in the afternoon (around 1:00pm) that I could feel the hot air on my face as I drove down the freeway with the windows down–walked across the parking lot that was already very hot, got asked at the entrance “is it hot enough for you?” but they didn’t otherwise bother me. Too bad I did actually blister my feet after just two rows of vendor tables because the blacktop in the swap meet was extremely hot, so I left that soon. Leaving the swap meet and crossing the parking lot again (which got even more hot that quickly that I had to flick my toes in the air at the end of each step), one of two girls asked me “is it burning your feet?” but I didn’t want to be bothered so I just said “not yet”.

    Santa Fe Springs: Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet and walking comfortably barefoot in the later afternoon (after 4:00pm) on hot asphalt–but not extremely hot asphalt–one girl who was with her friend asked me “she wants to take her shoes off, is it hot?” to which I (truthfully replied) “not for me it’s not”.

    Some comments about your comments:

    San Diego? Inland, not coastal–is actually not as laid back as many would think it is:

    * Food4Less–(whispered to me) “you can’t be in here without shoes”.

    * Stater Bros.–(said to me as I waiting in the checkout counter line) “excuse me sir, that’s not allowed”.

    * Costco–(customer walking behind me as I walked to the entrance across a very hot parking lot with an already healing small blister on my heel) “it’s so hot he has a blister”. Once inside, a blender *exhibitor* (not store staff) said to me “sir, sir, excuse me sir, they aren’t going to allow you in here without shoes” but I just ignored him.

    * Walmart–a *customer* complained to an associate that “he’s in here without shoes” but the associate did also reply “that’s alright”.

    * Escondido World Market Swap Meet–some vendors commenting “…sin zapatos” and one customer trying to get my attention calling out to me “senorito, senorito”.

    * Kobey’s Swap Meet–successfully walked from the car and the parking lot, no problems entering and then able to walk full half hour continuously on the blacktop asphalt before having to start going to stop at shade patches. After stopping at one shade patch, a customer commented “oh his feet are burning”.

    Las Vegas?

    No problems with going barefoot in the casinos (except for the Wynn that got mentioned in a news article) as seen by many women carrying their shoes in the casinos. Shoes gnerally needed for restaurants (including buffets) and shows–but worth a try to go in barefoot anyway (just bring shoes in a bag just in case). In most cases flip flops are good enough when shoes are required (except for the Stratosphere 108th floor revolving restaurant that requires a minimum of a business casual dress code). Obviously, barefoot outside is really only about how dirty the streets and sidewalks are (but dirt can be cleaned off)–and also how cold or hot they get for the forecast low or high air temperature, based on how early in the day or middle of the afternoon or later in the night. I found that winters in Vegas usually have a night low of 40 degrees or colder. Spring afternoons in Vegas average 80 to 90 degrees in the mid-afternoon. Summer afternoons in Vegas easily average 105 degrees just in the mid-morning up to peaks sometimes over 115 degrees in the mid-afternoon and the nights still only cool down to around 90 degrees–still worth a try (but bringing shoes in a bag too avoid a way too hot point of no return) of going barefoot during the hours that make the pavement heat just slightly above the point where it would be too hot to stand without having to walk quickly very soon and too hot to keep walking quickly without desperately needing a shade patch very soon (which for me, is at the point where my feet are tingling from the burning and stay tingling and definitely before a watery pinching sensation indicating blisters).

    Some of those comments are of genuine concern when I walked on asphalt hot enough to burn or blister the feet, while others are just annoying.

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